• In memory of Stefan Karl on his birthday, July 10

    written by Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir
    Kvennabladid, 10 Jul 2020 (Google translated)

    Today, my dear Stefán Karl would have turned 45 years old. For that reason, we bake a "Betty Fucker" chocolate cake, which I can not do as well as he does, despite following the bulletproof instructions on the package. All about it, it will be baked and we will get a slice and drink cold milk with it.

    It's been almost two years since he died, but not a day when I don't think about him, more often than not because of some mundane thing I know he found a reason to turn into a jokingly funny joke. Stefán had the rare quality of being able to wake up every day as if he had been given a new opportunity. Do not stay for a moment, even though things were going badly or that he had run into something. At times, this trait of his was almost irresponsible, but I know that it was precisely this ability to always think ahead and not succumb to mistakes or haste that was also his fortune. He achieved so much in a short period of time, forever interested in creating something new and exciting with these great brains and uniquely inventive and fertile thinking in the bag.

    I also see him acting daily in our children Júlía and Thorsteinn. They have grown incredibly fast over the past two years, as is the case with children and many of Stefán's qualities are becoming more and more apparent in them. Stein has inherited his father's body image, resting one leg behind the other in the same way that Stefán took a standing position and is a brilliant comedian, inventive and energetic with endurance. Julia is also super funny, and clever with her dad's hands and the same sky blue in her eyes. They are both musical and melodic and love music like Stefán.

    This is how we humans are, replicas of those who gave birth to us and those who gave birth to us. Those who are gone continue to live a good life in us and with us.

    When I think of Stefán's struggle with the pancreatic cancer that nearly kills everyone who gets it, I feel horrified at the physical suffering he had to endure in his illness. There is a feeling of compassion for him and his unfulfilled dreams rather than self-pity. I have no permission to feel sorry for myself, I got to live on and I have children to look after.

    I remember how determined he was to celebrate the fortieth birthday and repeatedly invited his doctors to that party. I also remember the black matter in their eyes, though they accepted the invitation with thanks and the sadness that they could not conceal however they tried to strengthen us at times. It never occurred to me, despite the professionalism of how hard it is for good doctors to watch young people die in their hands.

    There was no justice in Stefán's struggle and lost battle, only the ruthless cruelty itself, but I have also understood that the adversity I faced with him taught me so many things and has enabled me to deal with things fearlessly and with much more courage than before. Gifts can be found in the strangest situation.

    My reconciliation now, if it can be called reconciliation, I think lies in the fact that I know that I put myself in impossible situations, I did what I could to be good to him in difficult times, left everything to him and put almost everything else aside. I did it not just because of him but also because of me. My conscience told me that I could not continue to live with myself and our children and become more useful if I did not make his illness and struggle the main thing.

    I do not regret it, I have not achieved anything in the days that are more instructive and rewarding. And if anyone is in doubt as to why we are usually born, the answer is: we are here to be as good as we can to those who need us. I've said this before. To love and be loved is the only thing that matters. Everything else is rubbish.

    Young people with deadly disease are in the running for the time that we think is endless. Stefán's two-year struggle is now two years later like a painfully charged moment, a screaming scream, a final sigh. In the meantime, the feeling was like being stuck in a slow car accident, where you can't handle anything but know that you are aiming for a wall and everything will be black. I could not cure Stefán but I desperately did what I could to make myself useful. I tried to be beautiful around him, sometimes filling the house with good people he loved, giving him the food he wanted, watching the movies he chose with him, listening to the same jazz song 18 times if that was to swap, to participate fully in his dreams of things that were his thoughts, which was perhaps the most difficult because we both knew that many of them we could never do together and otherwise he would not live to see become a reality.

    For the last few months, the future has ceased to exist in our conversations, he himself said that he could not think of not seeing his children grow out of the grass, it was just too painful. At that time, he also distanced himself from the children and me and drew more inward. It is common with those who know it is not far behind. Stefán eventually became cold and distant as he unconsciously wanted to prepare us all for the separation. Let go of us.

    Stephen's family will always be my family, just as my loved ones are. Hulda mother-in-law, Björgvin a brother as I call him. His wife Steinunn, my sister-in-law, and my sister and their children all remain - although Stefán has gone - my people and all my children. Having such people is a great gift for me and for me. Aunt Valgerða, I also have a lot to thank for. She took it upon herself to be my right hand in Stefán's illness years, and traveled with me and the children across the globe to fulfill Stefán's wishes for a grave in a hot distant sea. A lot was put into it, but the descendants of grandmother Lína and grandfather Þorsteinn's are no strangers. Flexible but unbreakable steel is their Vala mín.

    Nothing will happen again though. Never. But I can rejoice in so much and life is really good for me from afar. One thing Stephen taught me, worries and judgments are a complete waste of time. You only wither if you do not persist in your dreams and ideals in your arms.

    I know many people remember Stefan today and that is hope. He could be the most fun of all men. Get yourself some chocolate cake!

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